I had a free weekend last mount and I was on a mission to find myself new running shoes. I knew I wanted Brooks but had no idea which ones. After a long day of looking at shoes, lord and behold I bought two pairs instead of one, shocker I know.
I got the Ghost 13s and the Glycerin 18, and after testing both of them out thoroughly, I thought I share my findings in a Brooks Ghost vs Glycerin review.
Okay so, if you are not like me, and you don’t have time to analyze shoes the entire day, well I’ll tell you that you’re missing out, but also I understand. So I will make things easy on you and give you quick synapses before I go in depth.
I still recommend you keep reading though because one seemingly minuscule variation can make all the difference for you.
Both models are running shoes with good cushioning action going on and slightly bigger heel drops than I usually go for. Both are very comfortable, flexible, and stable.
If you are a fast to medium-paced runner, I recommend you get the Ghosts and if you are a steady to easy-paced long-distance runner I recommend the Glycerins.
In-depth: Brooks Ghost vs Glycerin
Not that we got the basics out of the way, but if you still can’t decide which ones to get, keep reading to learn the detailed review.
Sole: Brooks Ghost & Glycerin
It’s no secret that the sole part of the shoe is all the rage, and it should be. If you are running on any surface, especially asphalt, it is very important that your shoes have a comfortable and cushy sole that will absorb the impact and protect your feet, ankles, and knees.
Outsoles: Brooks Ghost & Glycerin
The Ghosts have a flex groove that runs across the sole of your foot, from the heel to the toes.
On the other hand, the Glycerins have a flex groove that stops mid-way, meaning it runs from the heel to the forefoot. This means that the forefoot of the Glycerins is less flexible that the Ghosts.
Both models have a blown rubber on their outsoles, with the Glycering having an extra HPR highly absorbent rubber on the heel. This means that the heel has more protection which is great for runners that experience heel pain.
Midsole: Brooks Ghost & Glycerin
Both the Ghost and the Glycerin have a state-of-the-art midsole that is made with DNA Loft technology which makes the soles very comfortable compared to previous Brooks models.
The Ghosts have a firmer midsole and I can say that this makes them more versatile. They can be worn for both long and shorter runs, regardless of the pace. You can do cardio days at the gym with no problem.
Burpees, skater jumps, jump squats, treadmill sprints, you name it, the firmer sole will still provide very good cushioning so you can run or jump without worrying about your stability.
The Glycerins on the other hand have a softer midsole and they are better suited for long steady-paced runs. They are not too bouncy but have just the right amount of firmness and shock absorbent properties to ease the tension from your feet during a long run.
If you don’t know what is a heel to toe drop and why it’s significant in shoes, then you are probably one of the lucky ones that haven’t experienced pain in the ball of their feet to the point or doing extensive research on the matter.
A heel-to-toe drop is the difference between the sole height in the heel and the sole height in the ball of the foot.
If the heel sits too high and the ball of the foot is too low to the ground, there will be pressure on the front part of the foot that can cause pain or even fractures in the sesamoid bones.
Ideally, we want to have a minimal heel-to-toe drop, that is why pro athletes tend to wear zero-drop shoes. But if you are not a pro athlete you will probably find medium heel-to-toe drop shoes way more comfortable.
The Ghosts have a slightly bigger heel-to-toe drop of 12mm, and the Glycerins have a 9mm heel-to-toe drop. Both of them are in the mid-heel-to-toe drop category and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
However, people that have inflammation problems on the ball of their feet, meaning the sesamoid bones and the tendons surrounding them, will maybe experience some discomfort because of the height difference between the heel and the ball of the foot.
The cushioning of the shoes and the steady drop, however, make up for the height difference because they keep the foot safe by softening the impact.
Upper: Brooks Ghost & Glycerin
Both the Brooks Ghost and Brooks Glycerin are made from an air mesh material that allows for some breathability.
The fabric is stretchy and provides cushioning for the foot, but is thick enough to provide support and stability. The fabric in the heel and the tongue is extra padded, which allows for a comfortable fit.
The Ghosts are slightly more versatile when it comes to foot width. They come in narrow, regular, wide, and extra wide for men and women, whereas the Glycerins only come in regular and wide for men and women.
Both are not super breathable and may overheat your foot while running in hot weather, but you will be thankful for their thick fabric in winter runs.
Pros and cons
- Extra padding
- Good grip
- The heel-to-toe drop may not be suitable for some
- May be too bulky and heavy for some
- Sole may be too soft for some
- May squeak and slip in the rain
- May be too wide for a narrow foot
You can’t go wrong with Brookes running shoes, but the final verdict of the Brooks Ghost vs Glycerin battle will be up to you.
If you have a narrow foot and are looking for all-around good and stable workout shoes, go for the Ghosts.
If on the other hand you have a wider foot and do long runs, go for the Glycerins.
When it comes to foot pain if you have pain in the ball of your foot or the heel the Glycerins extra heel protection and the smaller heel-to-toe drop will probably be the right choice for you.
If you are looking for more stability, and do a lot of agility training, maybe go for the Ghosts since they do have a firmer sole.
Take all these things into consideration and I’m sure that you will have no problem picking the right shoes for you.
It’s been more than 15 years, and I’ve been running 3-4 times a week ever since then. I’ve achieved goals, won marathons, went through injuries and learnt a lot along the way. That’s why, I created Suzlyfe together with my husband (Ken) to share my findings and help others reach their goals. Both me and my husband are avid runners, and it’s a big part of our life.